May 2006

 

E-waste legislation passes first hurdle in California

Sacramento, CA— Legislation authored by Assembly Member Lori Saldaña (D-San Diego) that aims at phasing out the use of hazardous materials in nearly all electronic devices sold in California was passed by the Assembly’s Natural Resources Committee.

While current state law requires the phase-out of toxic substances in electronic devices with a video display of four inches or larger, Saldaña’s bill, AB 2202, expands the prohibition to include nearly any electronic or battery-operated device. If signed into law, this measure would be the first of its kind in the United States.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that about 70 percent of the toxic heavy metals found in landfills come from electronic waste. California alone generates about 500,000 tons of electronic waste annually.

Saldaña’s legislation is modeled on a European Union directive, set to take effect in July of this year that also bans hazardous materials in electronic devices bound for sale in European markets.

The bill will move next to the Assembly’s Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials for consideration.

 


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